October 15, 2007 Charleston, Sc

It has been two weeks since I last posted so I will try my hardest to catch up again.  We have been pretty good about walking almost everyday for about 2 miles.  Hope over time we will be able to go much longer and much faster – abused these poor bodies for too many years.

During the weeks we have mostly walked, shopped and visited our grandchildren.  I know most people are not interested about cleaning etc so I will try to hit upon our travels only.

On October 7th they had the “Taste of Charleston” at the Boone Hall Plantation.  Boone Hall Plantation was established in 1681 as a rice plantation and then a cotton plantation.  Today they still grow cotton here plus all kinds of vegetables.  It is famous for the huge oak trees that line the driveway which were planted back in 1743.  If I was younger I would love to climb those trees, they drape over the lawns and are just so huge in size.  We shall come back and tour this plantation again in the future.  Alot of movies and tv programs were filmed here.  The Taste of Charleston had over 50 restaurants from the area participate with all kinds of different foods such as crab cakes, ribs, bacon wrapped shrimp, shrimp and grits, hamburgs, ice cream and even macaroni and cheese.  The food was really good and quite reasonably priced.  The proceeds were going to the Ronald McDonald House and the Cancer Center so it was for a good cause.  They had cooking demos, entertainment, and loads of kid activities.  We were with Jerry, our son-in-law, and our two littest granddaughters.  Julia, whom is 3, had her face painted with a pumpkin, took a pony ride, jumped in a jumping castle and just loved it all.  All that was free.  The weather was quite hot so we kept looking for alittle piece of shade – they even had a pile of snow which was a big treat for the kids down here.  We had a wonderful day and enjoyed it all.

One day we went out to lunch at Applebees and then shopped at the Homegoods Store.  We picked up more wine glasses, toilet paper holder and new sheets.  They are 600 count and just sooooo nice to sleep on.  We also rode around patriots point area and will return there another day.

Last Tuesday Lucille and Vinny came down from Murrels Inlet to visit.  We sat outside and talked and then went to the Redbank Club on base for lunch.  The food was very good and we all enjoyed our food.  We went back to the camper and talked some more.  It was great seeing them again and hope we will see more of them while in this area.  Always nice to visit with friends.

Have you ever seen how tea grows?  We went to the only tea plantation in North America.  It is the Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island and the place was so interesting.  We first took a factory tour and saw the processing of tea.  We then got into a trolley and toured the grounds.  Tea plants grow here from April thru the end of October and then they grow huge while flowers on the plants.  The plantation is now part of Bigelow Tea Company out of Fairfield Connecticut – never get far from our roots.  The actual bushes are descendants of bushes orginally brought over from China and India back in the 1800’s.  It was a real education for us to see how it grows and is processed.  The tour was very good – the guide was excellent and they had a very nice little store.  Of course Tim had to buy some tea – I never acquired a taste for tea.  On the way back we stopped at Athens and had a wonderful lunch sitting outside in the nice warm sun.  It was a beautiful day.

On Sunday we went to the Children’s Day Festival in Mount Pleasant.  It was held at the recreation complex and it was wonderful.   They had all kinds of things for the children – wall climbing, face painting, laser tag games, pony rides, jumping castles and live entertainment, plus all kinds of food.  Everything was free except for food and drinks, which really surprised me.  I think everyone with children in Mount Pleasant attended.  The main reason we went was our oldest granddaughter Emily performed with her dance studio.  They did an outstanding performance and we were soooo proud of her.  She is really becoming a good dancer – she is only 8 years old but has been dancing for awhile now and each year we see such a big improvement in her dancing.  She gains more confidence in herself which is sooo importnat.  Keep up the wonderful work Emily.

Today we took a ride to Short Stay Navy Outdoor Recreation Area which is located in Moncks Corner.  What a nice place this is – they have a campground, boat rentals and piers, game room, store, picnic areas, playgrounds,  volleyball, pavilions, club house, villas and cabins, horseshoes, and a beach that sits on Lake Moultrie.  Just beautiful, we just toured today but someday we will return and enjoy some of these things.  The lake was down in water level and beach closed for the season.  Even here where the weather is nice and warm they close early because of lifeguards.

We stopped at Arbys for lunch – Tim had the new sub they have – I had the beef and cheddar sandwich.  It filled our bellies and we were on our way. 

We were driving down the road and found the Old Santee Canal Park, which is a county park.   The canal began operating in 1800 and is America’s first summit canal.  The canal construction began in 1793 with more than 700 laborers working for seven years.  The finished canal was 22 miles long.    They have a very nice Interpretive Center with displays and a movie explaining the canal and the area.  The lady whom works their was very helpful in telling us other places to go in the area that would interest us.  We meet the nicest people in this life style.  They have a musuem here but because it was Monday it was not opened.  We did take a walk on the boardwalk thru alittle of the swamp but shall return another day to see the museum and walk the whole trail.  They have a beautiful 1840 summer plantation home on the grounds.  They rent it out and it was locked up but we did peak in all the windows.  It sits up off the ground as most South Carolina homes do.  You can watch the Cooper River from the porch – it was just a beautiful site. 

Tommorow I am getting my hair cut and colored.  Hope it comes out good – this is a hard part of being on the road as you never know how they will cut it.  Just need to be brave and get it done.

Looks like our daughter Amanda has found the place for her wedding and reception.  Looks like it will take place on September 13th and be a night wedding.  We are sooo happy for her and Tim and wish them happiness in the future and a long and happy marriage.

Until later